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Roadside Inspection Service

Tasks and powers of the Roadside Inspection Service

With more than 500,000 truck and bus inspections per year, the Roadside Inspection Service of the German Federal Office for Goods Transport makes an important contribution towards increasing road safety and environmental protection as well as towards safeguarding market regulations in road transport.

The picture shows a Roadside Inspection Fleet Car

Inspection personnel is authorized to stop and inspect domestic and foreign motor vehicles used for the carriage of goods as well as buses. For mobile checks, this is done by flagging down vehicles to the nearest parking area or, for stationary checks on German federal motorways, by stopping them at rest and parking areas. In addition, the Roadside Inspection Service conducts controls on federal roads and country roads.


What is being checked?

The monitoring tasks of the Federal Office for Goods Transport are set down in Section 11 of the German Road Haulage Act. Within the framework of roadside checks, the Federal Office for Goods Transport particularly checks the following:

• Presence of relevant documents and evidence required under the Road Haulage Act
• Proper use of tachographs and compliance with driving and rest periods
• Specific regulations of residence, work permit and social security laws
• Compliance with the permissible dimensions, axle loads and gross weights as well as load securing and the technical condition of motor vehicles and trailers as well as vehicle combinations
• Compliance with regulations concerning the transportation of dangerous goods
• Compliance with waste disposal regulations
• Compliance with the permissible levels for noise and for pollutants in exhaust emissions
• Proper technical condition of motor vehicles used for the carriage of goods
• Compliance with the driving ban on Sundays and public holidays

Powers of the Roadside Inspection Service

In fulfilling its monitoring tasks pursuant to Article 11 of the Road Haulage Act, the Federal Office for Goods Transport has to investigate and prosecute violations of the regulations. In this respect, the Federal Office’s officials have the rights and duties of police officers pursuant to the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Act on Breaches of Administrative Regulations.

When stopped, driving personnel must comply with the signs and directions given by the inspection personnel of the Federal Office. However, this does not relieve them of their own due diligence. Furthermore, driving personnel must immediately provide the information required to fulfil the monitoring tasks during roadside checks in a manner that is truthful to the best of their knowledge and belief. The documents that have to be carried pursuant to the corresponding legal provisions must also be handed over upon request of the inspection personnel.

If violations are identified during the inspection, inspection personnel will implement different measures depending on jurisdiction and on the type and severity of the violation. They issue warnings or prepare inspection reports that lead to the initiation of an administrative offence procedure. If the person concerned resides abroad, they can be ordered to pay a security deposit.

If the security deposit is not or not completely provided, the continuation of the journey may be prohibited. At its own discretion within the framework of fulfilling its tasks, the Federal Office for Goods Transport may also prohibit the continuation of the journey if the vehicle or its driving personnel pose a danger or if their authorisation for road haulage cannot be demonstrated.

If the Federal Office for Goods Transport, within the framework of roadside checks, identifies violations against certain regulations that are outside the monitoring task of the Federal Office, such findings will be forwarded to the competent authorities. This includes, for example, violations of the German Road Traffic Act, the Act to Combat Clandestine Employment, and certain criminal provisions.


Cooperation and points of contact of the Federal Office for Goods Transport

The Federal Office for Goods Transport regularly conducts checks in cooperation with other authorities such as the police, customs or trade inspection authorities. Another particularly important aspect is cross-border cooperation. For this reason, the Federal Office for Goods Transport also cooperates with other authorities at the international level, particularly with the control services of neighbouring countries.

The personnel of our Federal Office for Goods Transport regional offices are available as local points of contact.


Further Information

• Frequently asked questions and answers concerning driving personnel regulations
• Beyond that, at the bottom you have the possibility to download the "catalogues of administrative fines" and the "Roadside checks" pamphlet (in various languages).


Technical roadside inspections of roadworthiness

Within the framework of its assigned monitoring task, the Federal Office for Goods Transport, among other things, conducts technical roadside inspections of the roadworthiness of commercial vehicles for goods transport pursuant to Section 11(2), No. 3 (m), of the Road Haulage Act. The implementation of these inspections is governed by EU Directive 2104/47 and the German Ordinance on Technical Roadside Inspections of the Roadworthiness of Commercial Vehicles.

Particularly the compliance with road traffic regulations concerning the condition and maintenance status of commercial vehicles will be checked within the framework of technical roadworthiness inspections. The aim is to improve road safety and environmental protection. The technical roadside inspections of roadworthiness are conducted by specially trained experts of the Roadside Inspection Service (technical experts) throughout Germany.

At this, the examination focuses on the following assemblies:

• Braking system
• Steering system
• Lighting equipment
• Tires / wheels / axles / suspension system
• Tachograph

In addition, the technical experts of the Federal Office for Goods Transport particularly inspect the exhaust emissions purification system to verify compliance with emission standards.

If corresponding deficiencies of the vehicle are identified, administrative offence proceedings are initiated. If it involves serious technical deficiencies, the continuation of the journey will be prohibited to avert the associated dangers. The journey with the vehicle may only be resumed when its safe operating condition has been restored.


AdBlue inspections

In addition, the technical experts of the Federal Office for Goods Transport particularly inspect the exhaust emissions purification system to verify compliance with emission standards.

During inspections, the experts check if there are any illegal manipulation devices in the inspected vehicle or if the exhaust emissions purification system is defective. Such manipulation or defect results in non-compliance with the required emission classes and thus in higher harmful nitrogen oxide emissions.

The complex inspection situation requires special expertise – not only in terms of recognising manipulation or defects but also regarding the inspection methods to be applied.

Apart from relying on past experience of the Federal Office for Goods Transport inspection personnel, various technical resources are used in order to inspect the proper functioning of the exhaust emissions purification system.
The Federal Office for Goods Transport consistently keeps itself informed about new inspection techniques and further develops its own inspections methods. In this regard, the Federal Office puts particular emphasis on the training and further education of inspection personnel.


Cargo securing

Lashing straps
Image shows semi-trailer with lashing straps Source: BAG (Federal Office for Goods Transport)

Pursuant to Section 11(2), No. 3 (i), of the Road Haulage Act, the Federal Office for Goods Transport is responsible for monitoring compliance with cargo regulations and, by fulfilling this monitoring task, provides an important contribution towards road safety.

In Germany, Section 22(1) of the Road Traffic Regulations is the legal basis for cargo securing in road vehicles. According to this, cargo including lashing equipment and loading devices must be properly stowed and secured to prevent it from shifting, tipping, rolling around, or falling, or from causing unnecessary noise during, for example, emergency braking or sudden evasive manoeuvres.

Thus, the accepted technical standards (rules) must be observed when securing cargo. The corresponding reference standards used in Germany include, among other things, Load Restraining on Road Vehicles (DIN EN 12195-1:2011) and, for vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 3.5 tonnes, VDI Guideline 2700 on Securing of Loads on Road Vehicles (DIN EN 12195-1:2004).

On the one hand, it is the vehicle drivers who are responsible for compliance with cargo securing regulations, provided that they could have secured the cargo themselves during or after loading, i.e. whenever they had direct influence on the cargo securing process prior to departure. On the other hand, the loaders – the loading operations managers – are responsible for compliance with the regulations.

First and foremost, the registered users of vehicles have to ensure that their drivers are able to secure the cargo. For this purpose, they must offer training and necessary guidance. Furthermore, they are subject to obligations concerning supervision, monitoring, and provision of equipment. This includes auxiliary equipment for cargo securing that is required for the corresponding transport.

A distinction is made between two main basic types of cargo securing. These are the form-based and the force-based securing of cargo. Both methods have specific advantages but also disadvantages. In order to use these methods in a meaningful way, it is necessary to know and pay attention to the factors to be considered in each individual case.

Which cargo securing measures are to be taken in a given case depends on the type of cargo and the vehicle used for transport. Taking into account various other factors such as cargo weight or also frictional resistance, the required forms of cargo securing are calculated by means of physical formulas.

Catalogs of fines

Brochures Road Inspection Service

Flyer Kabotage regulations 2022_german

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